Last Diwali, Anish was really excited. He was moving into a new organisation. Cutting-edge industry, a challenging role, excellent money…. Okay, he knew he had to relocate alone to Mumbai. His family was not willing to leave their home in Indore to live in an unknown city, while Anish worked 12-hour days.
By the time he went home for Christmas, Anish had an appointment to meet his old boss in Indore to see if he could return to his earlier job. He was questioning his judgement in accepting the new role.
Sounds familiar? Why do job applicants often face disappointment soon after accepting a ‘job of their dreams’? Here are a few common myths and errors that a job seeker should assess before pursuing a career switch.
Industry – Read about the potential of the industry. Who are the stakeholders? Are you comfortable with the customer profile?
Business environment –
Multinational – An established multinational company follows global policy. Atmosphere can be fairly process driven, less flexible, highly professional. A mid to senior level employee can expect to spend upwards of 40% of his/her time attending global conference calls and participating in ‘strategy’ meetings.
Owner driven – A large number of Indian companies are tightly managed by the promoter. Depending on the personality of the promoter, an employee can enjoy greater freedom, quick decision making, be nimble. The lines of the role are not tightly defined, allowing the employee to gain experience in areas outside the job description.
Start-up or high growth – Do you have an entrepreneurial bent of mind? Are you the kind who can think 30 steps ahead? Can you deal with constant change? Then this environment suits you. If you prefer structure over chaos, think carefully before you accept a role in a start-up.
Role – A clear understanding of the role.
Expectation Management – An excellent exercise by the employer and the finalist candidate is clear cut role and goal setting. This ensures alignment of expectations and enables both sides to measure performance in a meaningful manner.
Reporting Structure – Multinational or well-established organisations clearly define structure. The applicant must enquire about reporting lines at the time of the final interview. This ensures there are no nasty surprises later on. The HR head or the business manager would be able to definitively explain the structure and the applicant’s position within it.
Smaller and promoter driven organisations may not have a fixed structure. Lines can be fuzzy – this can lead to confusion and disharmony. An applicant should use his/her personal networks to assess the accurate reporting environment in an organisation. Often, first generation promoter driven companies have a ‘confidant’ who has the ear of the promoter and wields significant influence in the operations. It is wise to be aware of such a situation in advance.
Money – It does matter…. Don’t just get excited by the total figure. Spend time, evaluate the components of the payout structure. Check your take-home pay. If there is a variable pay – enquire how often it will be paid out and how it is measured. Invest the effort to be clear about how you are getting